Positive review of "Dog On Chain" by radio personality Bob Stei


Morrissey Hits All The Right Notes On “I Am Not A Dog On A Chain”

“Congratulations, You're still alive.They kicked to kill you. Do not forget, they tried to turn you Into a public target: Welcome to this knockabout world!” Morrissey sings like a martyr on “Knockabout World,” one of the successful pieces on Morrissey’s 13th solo album since The Smiths broke up in 1987.

Despite alienating himself from many fans and the media due to many controversial political comments and last second concert cancelations, he has seemed to hit it out of the park in the studio with his new album “I Am Not A Dog On A Chain”. The recordings have a retro feeling, containing dark keyboards and beautiful harmonies from backup vocals. Lyrically, he utilizes his greatest skills combining misery, self doubt, multiple interpretations and criticisms of his critics. He manages to score all the above, while still creating catchy songs that play in your head all day.

He starts the album with the dreary and catchy “Jim JIm Falls,” taking set at a plunge waterfall in Australia. Waiting to see if patrons jump or “run back home,” Morrissey questions the world and how much attention people need(ala social media, I’m sure.) He ends the song by repeating a very dark and catchy chorus of “If you're gonna sing, then sing:Just don't talk about it. If you're gonna live, then live: Don't talk about it. If you're gonna kill yourself: Then for God's sake, Just kill yourself!”

Moz follows “Falls” by claiming, “Love is on its way out. Love is tired, and it's on its way out.”

Similar to his previous album, “Low In High School,” on “Love is On The Way Out,”Morrissey tackles the topic of being alone, and goes full force talking about the world’s miseries. “Did you see the nerve-gassed children crying? Did you see the sad rich hunting down, shooting down elephants and lions?”

Working with a Doors sounding 60’s keyboard and the unusual and beautiful vocals of past disco star Thela Houston, the duo talks about the obvious drug abuse of somebody they admire on “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?” Houston at times sounds like she’s in a gospel choir, echoing and belting out playing dead on with Morrissey’s vocals, as they talk about drug references like “Snow king, toot-and-horse:Then something worse..”

Using beautiful high pitched back up vocals again, Morrissey delightfully asks “Why can't you give me some physical love? Everything else is in place, except physical love,” on the beautiful “Darling I Hug A Pillow.”

Focussing on days gone by, Morrissey invites you in with his family and past on the rich, “Once, I Saw The River Clean” reflecting, “Soon the clock will strike for me. Childish mind anticipates:Grown-up mind consummates”

The beautiful album ends with the ballad, “My Hurling Days Are Over,” as he once again reflects on midlife and days gone by proclaiming “Time: No friend of mine” and “Time will send you an invoice:And, you pay with your strength and your legs and your sight and your voice.” The album uses every key necessary musically and lyrically to touch a nerve and to keep running in your head.

Not since the early 1990’s, has Morrisey put out an album like this, where there is no reason to skip a track and you feel so satisfied when you are done. In today’s lame music world, this album is not only a fantastic listen, but needed desperately as well. 13 albums in his solo career, and still hitting it out- Time is still a friend of his.
 

Comments

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
On the scale for fawning sycophantism, this is about one short notch below Fiona Dodwell's review.
 
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T

Trans

Guest
I’ve come to really love darling. It’s great lyrically but I especially love the punctuated vocal and rhythm followed by that bendy guitar slide and breathy oohs. That’s a neat dynamic. Also the drums are great on this album which doesn’t get said enough
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I’ve come to really love darling. It’s great lyrically but I especially love the punctuated vocal and rhythm followed by that bendy guitar slide and breathy oohs. That’s a neat dynamic. Also the drums are great on this album which doesn’t get said enough
Darling's my favourite at the moment.

The only Morrissey song I ever skip is Sorrow Will Come In The End. Sometimes I can hear it as a comedy & sometimes I think he really needs to get therapy for that trial.
 
T

The Irish Hare

Guest

Morrissey Hits All The Right Notes On “I Am Not A Dog On A Chain”

“Congratulations, You're still alive.They kicked to kill you. Do not forget, they tried to turn you Into a public target: Welcome to this knockabout world!” Morrissey sings like a martyr on “Knockabout World,” one of the successful pieces on Morrissey’s 13th solo album since The Smiths broke up in 1987.

Despite alienating himself from many fans and the media due to many controversial political comments and last second concert cancelations, he has seemed to hit it out of the park in the studio with his new album “I Am Not A Dog On A Chain”. The recordings have a retro feeling, containing dark keyboards and beautiful harmonies from backup vocals. Lyrically, he utilizes his greatest skills combining misery, self doubt, multiple interpretations and criticisms of his critics. He manages to score all the above, while still creating catchy songs that play in your head all day.

He starts the album with the dreary and catchy “Jim JIm Falls,” taking set at a plunge waterfall in Australia. Waiting to see if patrons jump or “run back home,” Morrissey questions the world and how much attention people need(ala social media, I’m sure.) He ends the song by repeating a very dark and catchy chorus of “If you're gonna sing, then sing:Just don't talk about it. If you're gonna live, then live: Don't talk about it. If you're gonna kill yourself: Then for God's sake, Just kill yourself!”

Moz follows “Falls” by claiming, “Love is on its way out. Love is tired, and it's on its way out.”

Similar to his previous album, “Low In High School,” on “Love is On The Way Out,”Morrissey tackles the topic of being alone, and goes full force talking about the world’s miseries. “Did you see the nerve-gassed children crying? Did you see the sad rich hunting down, shooting down elephants and lions?”

Working with a Doors sounding 60’s keyboard and the unusual and beautiful vocals of past disco star Thela Houston, the duo talks about the obvious drug abuse of somebody they admire on “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?” Houston at times sounds like she’s in a gospel choir, echoing and belting out playing dead on with Morrissey’s vocals, as they talk about drug references like “Snow king, toot-and-horse:Then something worse..”

Using beautiful high pitched back up vocals again, Morrissey delightfully asks “Why can't you give me some physical love? Everything else is in place, except physical love,” on the beautiful “Darling I Hug A Pillow.”

Focussing on days gone by, Morrissey invites you in with his family and past on the rich, “Once, I Saw The River Clean” reflecting, “Soon the clock will strike for me. Childish mind anticipates:Grown-up mind consummates”

The beautiful album ends with the ballad, “My Hurling Days Are Over,” as he once again reflects on midlife and days gone by proclaiming “Time: No friend of mine” and “Time will send you an invoice:And, you pay with your strength and your legs and your sight and your voice.” The album uses every key necessary musically and lyrically to touch a nerve and to keep running in your head.

Not since the early 1990’s, has Morrisey put out an album like this, where there is no reason to skip a track and you feel so satisfied when you are done. In today’s lame music world, this album is not only a fantastic listen, but needed desperately as well. 13 albums in his solo career, and still hitting it out- Time is still a friend of his.
A great review as he actually reviewed the music. And he likes it I think...
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I wonder how anything can be both "dreary" and "catchy" at the same time. (But yes, this is just a social media post, so perhaps one shouldn't nitpick.)
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
That's unfair - Dodwell is florid & writes it for Moz to notice.

He's just chatty & likes the album.
True, but it's written to excess as if he's hoping Morrissey will notice. "The album uses every key necessary musically and lyrically to touch a nerve and to keep running in your head" ... "there is no reason to skip a track and you feel so satisfied when you are done" ... "13 albums in his solo career, and still hitting it out- Time is still a friend of his."

The strangest laud is when he says the record is an oasis in the desert of "today’s lame music world." I wonder what lameness he is referring to. Katy Perry and the like? Seventy percent of the songs on this album are in the musical template of teenybopper electro-dance. Granted, you have Morrissey's voice and lyrics overtop, which is not nothing, but we're essentially listening to Morrissey co-writing with Bonnie McKee. If people like it, that's up to them. It's just surreal to me that people would say he's "still hitting it out of the park," as if this material doesn't positively wither from embarrassment next to the Smiths or Vauxhall & I.
 
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I think that phrase sums up nearly all of morrissey's best work. Dreary subject matter made fun with catchy turns of phrase and music.
(Everyday is like Sunday for an easy example.)
 
T

Trans

Guest
True, but it's written to excess as if he's hoping Morrissey will notice. "The album uses every key necessary musically and lyrically to touch a nerve and to keep running in your head" ... "there is no reason to skip a track and you feel so satisfied when you are done" ... "13 albums in his solo career, and still hitting it out- Time is still a friend of his."

The strangest laud is when he says the record is an oasis in the desert of "today’s lame music world." I wonder what lameness he is referring to. Katy Perry and the like? Seventy percent of the songs on this album are in the musical template of teenybopper electro-dance. Granted, you have Morrissey's voice and lyrics overtop, which is not nothing, but we're essentially listening to Morrissey co-writing with Bonnie McKee. If people like it, that's up to them. It's just surreal to me that people would say he's "still hitting it out of the park," as if this material doesn't positively wither from embarrassment next to the Smiths or Vauxhall & I.
Might be electro but it’s not dance or techno. Not by any modern definition at least and to me that’s a very important distinction. I like things like Atari teenage riot and they are not dance to me
 
L

Livinginthepresent

Guest
True, but it's written to excess as if he's hoping Morrissey will notice. "The album uses every key necessary musically and lyrically to touch a nerve and to keep running in your head" ... "there is no reason to skip a track and you feel so satisfied when you are done" ... "13 albums in his solo career, and still hitting it out- Time is still a friend of his."

The strangest laud is when he says the record is an oasis in the desert of "today’s lame music world." I wonder what lameness he is referring to. Katy Perry and the like? Seventy percent of the songs on this album are in the musical template of teenybopper electro-dance. Granted, you have Morrissey's voice and lyrics overtop, which is not nothing, but we're essentially listening to Morrissey co-writing with Bonnie McKee. If people like it, that's up to them. It's just surreal to me that people would say he's "still hitting it out of the park," as if this material doesn't positively wither from embarrassment next to the Smiths or Vauxhall & I.
Some people really live in the past.
 
G

guy man

Guest
Moz alternately charms and repulses me, but there is no denying the new record is totally brilliant musically, melodically and lyrically. It's amazing.
 

Aubrey McFate

Lonely in Barcelona
Some people really live in the past.
If living in the present requires sniffing Morrissey's musical farts and declaring them aromatic, then yes, I will prefer to live in the past.

Some people, I guess, would've liked the Smiths if they sounded like Frankie Goes To Hollywood or the Thompson Twins musically, so long as they had Morrissey's voice and lyrics. If Johnny Marr had a space-age neon bouffant hairdo and stood stock still behind a keyboard, pumping out dance-y beeps and bloops. Not me.
 
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